It's a deep and talented year for linebackers out West and one player we project as a high Div I recruit is Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde athlete Eric Martin. Martin shined at the SoCal NIKE Camp last year and got it done on the field as well.
Martin, 6-2, 215 pounds has all the physical tools to excel at the next level. He has an excellent frame and will have no problems packing on weight. He runs well, has good instincts, is a very solid tackler and his leadership qualities are off the charts.
At the SoCal NIKE Camp a year ago, he was rated among the top five 'backers at the event and received an award for top underclassman at the position.
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"I've never had a kid like him before," RV coach Pete Duffy said. "I've had some great players, but no one who brings everything they have on every play and in every practice.
"It doesn't matter if he's hurt or not, he still flies around and hits the crap out of everything in front of him. He's a leader and a great example for the rest of the guys on the team. He's just a big time player and in my opinion, the same level of recruit as Tyron (Smith) was this past year.
"In fact, if you told me I could take just one player off my team last year, I would take Eric before anyone else, I think he's that special."
On the recruiting front, Martin is still waiting for his first offer but it sounds like several schools are close.
"Every coach that has been through here loves his film," Duffy said. "We've had some smaller programs watch about five plays of him and turn the tape off and say, 'why are you even showing me this, we have no chance to get this guy.' I'm surprised no one has offered yet but I think it's just a matter of time. Every coach that has been by loves him and said they'll be offering at some point."
In terms of favorites, Martin listed USC, Ohio State, Florida State, UCLA and Texas as his top five schools on his NIKE Camp form and will be attending the SoCal NIKE Camp once again this year.